Brother Edward (John) Fitzpatrick, C.S.C. (1826-1901)

image1 (4).jpg“Another link between the old days and the new was snapped when the venerable Brother Edward passed away last Monday (January 14) afternoon. For the past two or three years his health has been failing; for many months he had taken an active part in the Councils of the Administration; day by day his strength failing, until at last his gentle soul went forth to receive the reward exceedingly great. Few lives — at least to human seeming — deserve that reward so thoroughly as did Brother Edward’s. The beautiful analysis of his character pronounced by Father French at the funeral impressed all hearers with its justice and adequacy . . . Brother Edward was one of the trusted counsellors of Father Sorin in the up building of Notre Dame; for 38 years he was the Treasurer of the Congregation of Holy Cross, deputed to worry over financial matters while his fellow-religious labored in the pulpit or class-room. His problem was to make a small income fit a large expenditure, and in the terrible days following the great fire of 1879 that problem was distressing painfully. Earlier in the history of Notre Dame — when angry creditors stalked through the halls of our University threatening to foreclose mortgages and to turn the halls of our University threatening to foreclose mortgages and to turn the Community, few in numbers and destitute of resources, into the street; when horses were unyoked from the plow to be sold that a pressing debt might be paid, and when religious who had taught laboriously during the school year were required to seek relaxation in the harvest fields during vacation — in those earlier days there were indeed heavier anxieties. But no one will ever know the laborious days and sleepless nights which made up Brother Edward’s life when fire swept away the work of 35 years and when the makers of Notre Dame had to begin all over again with the same old problem of big debts and small resources to face. It would not surprise us if a life so entangled in secular affairs should be wanting somewhat in religious regularity, but it is to the testimony of Brother Edward’s confreres in religion that in all the observances of he Community life he was a model and an inspiration. He was a man of great faith and great charity. To innumerable persons he was ‘guide, philosopher, and friend’, and his daily round of duties was never complete until he had imparted advice, consolation, or encouragement to such as needed these helps. He was not a mere business man wearing the habit of a monk; he was devoted wholly to his office work because it was imposed on him by religion. In short, he was of old heroic mold, a worthy coadjutor of Father Sorin, and the brave, strong men who built an institution of higher learning in the wilderness with a hope that time has justified and a courage that later generations can never cease to admire” (SCHOLASTIC, 34:279-80, 1901).

Bishop Pierre Dufal, C.S.C. (1822-1898)

Dufal-pierre-eveque_de_galveston.jpgPierre Dufal was born in 1822, in Saint-Gervais d’Aubergne (Puy-de-Dôme), France. He professed vows in Holy Cross in 1852 and was ordained a priest in 1853. Assigned to the Congregation’s mission in East Bengal, India, in 1858, he was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Dhaka and ordained a bishop in 1860. He was the first member of the Congregation to be elevated to that rank. After the resignation of Blessed Basil Moreau in 1866, the General Chapter sought someone as Superior General who had not been involved in the controversies surrounding the founder’s resignation. They elected Bishop Dufal, who resisted accepting the office for a year. Finally, Dufal was assigned as the Superior General of Congregation of Holy Cross in 1866 by Pope Pius IX. A single year in France convinced the bishop that he was not the dufalman to resolve the community’s problems, and he resigned as Superior General and returned to East Bengal in 1868. He participated in the First Vatican Council (1869-1870) as one of the council fathers. In 1875, the Congregation withdrew temporarily from India, and Dufal’s resignation as the Vicar Apostolic of Eastern Bengal was accepted by Pope Pius IX on July 28, 1876.  Dufal moved to Rome where he served as Procurator General for the community until 1878 when Pope Leo XIII assigned Dufal as the Coadjutor Bishop of Galveston. In 1880 Pope Leo XIII accepted his resignation from that position for reasons of health. He returned to France, residing at the Congregation’s college in Neuilly, a Parisian suburb where he died in 1898.

Mother Pauline (Bridget) O’Neill, C.S.C. (1854-1835)

pauline.jpgMother Pauline was born Bridget O’Neill in Illinois in 1854. She entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1879 and served in missions in Austin, Texas, and Ogden, Utah before returning to lead Saint Mary’s Academy, which later became Saint Mary’s College in 1895. Mother Pauline became the first President of Saint Mary’s College in 1895 and served in that capacity through 1931.  She laid the foundation for today’s Saint Mary’s – the builder – not just buildings, but curricula was built to provide a holistic education – mind, heart and physical.  “The education given at Saint Mary’s is of the most practical and comprehensive character. It is intended to train the heart as well as the mind, to form women who will not only grace society with their accomplishments but honor and edify it by their virtues” ( Catalogue 1895-96). The buildings she built were to enhance student learning in every way, helping students build their character – as women and as educated women – as Saint Mary’s women.  Stella Hamilton Stapleton (1892 graduate) was a good friend of Mother Pauline, and in 1916, she gave $50,000 to start a building fund. When asked several years later on an Alumnae Association questionnaire what she considered her greatest achievement, she said “I had the honor of giving the first $50,000 towards Mother Pauline’s dream of our present magnificent new College building at Saint Mary’s”. By the early 1920s the fund was approximately $100,000, and Mother Pauline was able to convince the General Council of the Sisters of the Holy Cross that a new building could no longer be delayed if the college was to maintain its place as a leading U.S. Catholic women’s college. When the cornerstone for the new hall was laid in 1924, commencement and reunion brought more than 700 guests to the ceremonies – 80 years since the little school opened in Bertrand, MI. – and gave promise to the 20th century campus and indeed to the 21st century. Upon completion in 1925 there were those who said “There is no finer college in America or Europe. It is a thing of beauty.” The new hall was named Le Mans after the city in France where Blessed Basil Moreau had founded the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1841. This was the last of Mother Pauline’s buildings, and it is fitting that the portrait of the builder hangs in this great hall, on the opposite wall from Blessed  Moreau, and in front of Stapleton Lounge named for Stella Hamilton Stapleton, friend and benefactor of Mother Pauline. The Saint Mary’s yearbook, The Blue Mantle, of 1928 was dedicated to Mother Pauline in these words: “Of her prayers and eternal dreams this builder for God has erected an ageless monument to His glory! As long as the towers of Saint Mary’s stand, the spirit of Mother Pauline will abide therein raising the heavenward.”  (Smith, C.S.C., Brother Philip edited from the website No author nor date of publication).


May 25, 2019

In the Voice of Moreau:  You may know of a popular country music song called, “Live Like You Were Dying.”  What would you do if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness? Would your mind really go to skydiving and bull riding and mountain climbing?  Would your heart really settle for loving deeper and speaking sweeter, as the song suggests? No way! You would instead become intensely and authentically human.  With our crucified Lord, you would experience real vulnerability, confessing your great dependence on others, “I thirst.” You would be emotionally honest with your God, “Why have you forsaken me?”  You would finally see the logic of mercy, “Forgive them, Father.” You would realize that life only begins with a definitive act of surrender and trust, “Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.”  Don’t we realize that life is constantly moving toward that end point? Let us therefore not get lost in the emotions of this pop theology! Let us adopt the Cross as the rhythm of the song of our whole lives. Let us turn these lyrics upside down by dying daily to self and thus experiencing, here and now, a taste of true life.  Ave Crux, Spes Unica!

Holy Cross Educator’s Response:  If CSC educators heed Blessed Moreau’s declaration that the goal of a Catholic education is to bring students to completion in Christ crucified, then the real end is to assist young people to become intensely and authentically human.  It is as a participating member of the Body of Christ, that Christians respond to the words of Paul to the Corinthians. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body.’”  No matter what we teach in the classroom, all our work needs to be oriented to our enmeshment in the Body of Christ. Authentic humans come to understand that complete vulnerability to another person is a life-long work in progress. Moreover, complete vulnerability to our authentic Lord is found through daily denial of self for others. It is the work of educators to present students with many opportunities to step outside of “I need” and step forward to “Will you let me be your servant; let me be as Christ for you.”  Ave Crux Spes Unica!

Sister Mary Uriel (Mary Ellen) Walshe (Welsh), C.S.C. (1868-1925)

image1 (2).jpgMary Ellen Walshe was born in Ireland in 1868 and entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1895 from Washington, D.C. She made her final profession of vows at St. Mary’s Convent, South Bend, IN. in 1901. From 1898 until her death in 1925, she took care of orphans in a number of “orphan asylums” in Utah, Washington and Maryland. Her last assignment was as superior in Baltimore, in St. Patrick’s Parish, at the Dolan Aid Asylum from 1919-1925. Upon her death in June of 1925, the following article was published in a Baltimore newspaper: SHE INSPIRED CONFIDENCE, “Children of Dolan Home Counted Her As their Best Friend.” Here are portions of that article. Sister Mary Uriel Welsh [sic] of the Holy Cross Order [sic], who died last Saturday morning at Mercy Hospital had the key to the hearts of children. She opened those hearts and placed in them confidence and trust, faith and self-respect, love and devotion. For six years she was the superior and for eleven years before that she was stationed at Saint Joseph Orphan Asylum, Washington. Most of the twenty-eight years of her life in religion was spent as a friend of orphans. What sweeter vocation is there? Sister Mary [Uriel] not only gave her days and her nights to the care of the fatherless and motherless ones over whom she had charge, but she reared them in a home-like atmosphere. They were never made to feel that they were dependents, absolutely beholding to those willing to be beneficiaries. Rather they were raised like other children and looked upon the sisters in charge of the home as other little children look upon their mothers. Sister Mary [Uriel] was a woman of extraordinary executive ability. She managed the home well and had so many friends that she received many contributions to the home. Burial was in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Washington. Fourteen automobiles of friends made the trip from Baltimore to the Capital for the funeral.”

Fr. Thomas O. Barrosse, C.S.C. (1926-1994)

image1 (3).jpgThomas Barrosse was born in 1926 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He professed final vows in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1947 and was ordained a priest in 1950. After biblical studies in Rome, he taught at the University of Notre Dame and at Holy Cross College, Washington, D.C. From 1969 to 1974, he served as Novice Master in the common novitiate of the six American provinces in Bennington, Vermont. Elected Superior General by the General Chapter in 1974, Father Barrosse visited all the houses of the Congregation, trying to meet personally with every religious to reassure them of the Congregation’s mission and future in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. He composed several circular letters addressing the meaning of religious life and the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. He oversaw the establishment of the Province of India in 1984 and encouraged the brothers and priests in Bangladesh to seek provincial status. Barrosse promoted devotion to Blessed Moreau as the Congregation’s founder, writing a biography on him and putting together a compendium of his circular letters. He also worked for the beatification of Saint André Bessette, C.S.C., which happened in 1982. He played a large role in the revision of the Constitutions by the General Chapter of 1986, which is the version that remains in effect today with minor alterations. Father Barrosse also stressed collaboration with the Holy Cross sisters’ communities and pressed the Congregation to recognize its international character. After leaving office, he went to Bangladesh where he taught in the major seminary. After falling sick, he died in Bangladesh on June 14, 1994. (Holy Cross Congregation Website)

Brother Philip (John Knox) Hughes, C.S.C. (1824-1900)

bro. johnBorn in Ireland in 1824, there is scant information about this Brother’s years in the Community.  He received the habit in 1856 and made final vows in 1860.  At the time of his final vows, he had yet to make the canonical novitiate year.  A fragment of a letter is printed in Brother Aiden’s Extracts  taken from  Sorin Chronicles, February 29, 1860. “Having heard your circular letter relative to the opening of the Novitiate on the 17th of March next, I once more beg to be permitted to return home [University of Notre Dame] and commence that year of grace [the novitiate] of which I so greatly stand in need. I do not or cannot feel happy in my present state as I am neither a religious or a worldly person. I hope you will grant my request if it can be done without prejudice to the institutions of the Community”.  And from the Scholastic June 21, 1879.  “Brother Philip has designed a most convenient desk for the new study halls. The desks will be single, made of seasoned ash, and each will have a receptacle below, in the form of a closet with a door, for books, hat, slippers, and other articles”. From the  Scholastic. Jan. 17, 1880. “Brother Philip, one of the early pioneers of education at Notre Dame, has in his possession a curious looking snuff box, which at one time belonged to John Knox, founder of the Presbyterian Church. Brother Philip is one of the last lineal descendants of the so-called reformer, and the box has been handed down in his family as an heirloom from generation to generation. It is made of black horn and silver mountings, and bears a plate inscribed with the initials of its first owner. Brother Philip is a convert, and he has taught with marked success at Notre Dame and at other institutions [ New Orleans is mentioned in a change of assignment from Provincial Council notes for Sept. 1870] of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the U.S. and Canada”. From The Missionary. Nov. 1913  “This [Brother Philip’s conversion to Catholicism] is less strange however than the conversion to Catholicity some decades ago of the last lineal descendants of Martin Luther and Katherine Von Bora [Luther’s wife], and of the last descendant of John Knox, father of Scotch Calvinism. This convert, John Knox Hughes, labored for years as a teaching Brother of Holy Cross in the Middle West”. And finally from Brother Gilbert (John) Horton, in Alumnus. 3:112: “Brother Philip, the last lineal descendant of the Presbyterian John Knox, leading a useful life and making secret reparation for his deluded ancestor. He was a giant in stature and was well known as a teacher and disciplinarian”.  Brother Philip died in April, 1900 at Wexford, Ireland while there on business and is buried in Wexford.


May 18, 2019

In the Voice of Moreau:  Obsessive thinking is a major obstacle for certain personality types.  We have a negative experience and we cannot stop thinking about it. We make a mistake and our minds become absorbed with guilt and self-reproach.  When we discover that the word “obsession” literally means “something that sits upon you,” we begin to understand that the Cross indeed is our hope.  We shall not be enslaved to this idol which has somehow penetrated the walls of our psyche; we shall not permit our lives to be controlled by the unwelcome guest who wants to rent space in our mind; we shall not invest all of our attention in this squatter.  No! We shall instead bind this thought or idea or memory to the vertical and horizontal beams of Truth. We shall test its worth by spreading it out on the form of the Cross. We shall witness its death, trusting that any good will be resurrected and revealed in our souls in some new way.  Let us therefore learn to be obsessed with the Cross. Let us be sure that it is the Christ and only the Christ who sits in the throne of our mind. Ave Crux Spes Unica!

Holy Cross Educator’s Response:  Today, it is rare to see a person of any age or cultural background whose hand is not attached to a device–specifically a smartphone.  This gadget immediately connects us to anything, be it good or bad for us.  So easy it is to become obsessed with the ability to be connected to literally any desired knowledge.  Most children and teens are obsessed with but one thing–am I known by others and what do they think of me.  Too many times young people fall prey to cyber bullying that provides them with obsessive thinking. In this time of media explosion and instantaneous being in-the-know, CSC educators need to be  concerned for the welfare of their students. If we heed Blessed Moreau’s mandate that our educational vocation is to bring our students to completeness, then we must wholeheartedly fight against that which fractures their spiritual and psychological balance.  We must assist them to stand firm in the love of the crucified Lord and take their cares to the Lord, not to the Internet. Thomas a Kempis cautions that the person “who does not keep his heart within him, and who does not have God before his eyes is easily moved by a word of disparagement.”  We are all pulled mercilessly between two poles: self-centeredness and reliance upon Christ crucified. This tension can lead us to despair because addiction to carnal nourishment is so powerfully alluring. Teachers: pray for your students and yourselves that they and you have the desire and then the power to overwhelm any negative thinking that drives you away from God.  This needs to be more than a daily prayer. Let the mantra be Ave Crux Spes Unica!

Brother Benoit (Michael) Gillard, CSC (1815-1873)

benoit“One of the antiquities of Notre Dame”, he was a locksmith by trade and came from France in 1846 with Father Sorin. For many years he was chief Prefect in the Senior’s study hall and yard. Naturally rough and severe, he kept a perfect order and was generally loved by the students, notwithstanding. The last years of his life he was prefecting in the Infirmary where he died in the sentiments of a lively faith at aged 66” (no citation).  “Another of the old pioneer band that came to Notre Dame in the first years of its existence has parted from the scene of his labors, well laden with good deeds and merits. Perhaps no one at Notre Dame will be longer remembered by old students than Brother Benoit, who for twenty years ruled as Chief Prefect of the Senior Department. And we state what we know, as an old student ourself, that the announcement of his death will cause all the numerous men now engaged in the busy pursuits of life, who were once under his control, to pause in the whirl of business, and say: ‘God rest his soul!’ Brother Benoit had for some years been ailing, and had retired from the position of Chief Prefect of the Senior Department. A few weeks before his death it was evident to those who knew him well that he was in failing health; but on the morning of his death – Saturday – December 19th – he felt better and greeted cheerfully those around him, especially his fellow countryman and old comrade, Brother Augustus, who, despite the fact that Brother Benoit said he was feeling better, noticed a fearful change in him, and told him he was near death. And so it proved. Brother Benoit had received Holy Communion that morning, and just before noon it was evident that he was dying. There was time to administer to him the Sacrament of Extreme Unction (Editorial, SCHOLASTIC, 7:140, 1873). “Once more before the close of the eventful year, it is my sad duty to call upon you to pray for the repose of the soul of one of the old pioneers of our Congregation in the New World. Brother Benoit, for twenty years Prefect of the Seniors, departed this life at 11:30 this forenoon, fortified by the Sacraments of the Church, after a short illness of ten or twelve days. He was in his 66th year. He came to Notre Dame with me on my first return from France in 1846. As a Prefect, he was for many years considered an accomplished disciplinarian; of late, however, owing to infirmities and advanced age, he had been transferred from the Study-hall to the infirmary, where he continued, to the last, to act as Prefect Discipline among the convalescent. For his long and faithful services Brother Benoit well deserves to be gratefully remembered in the Congregation” (Sorin’s letter, 36, Dec. 20, 1873).

Sister Anna Mae (Joseph Anita) Golden, CSC (1930-2019)

anna mae.jpgThe Sisters of the Holy Cross learned early in the novitiate to think of themselves as “daughters of Father Moreau.” In January 2006 Sister Anna Mae Golden shared a reflection on Blessed Basil Moreau: “Moreau’s vision was to have members of the Congregation seek holiness for the mission and to call others to holiness through the mission.” She was a good and holy woman who was mission-driven in every ministry she was assigned. She made the connection between holiness in her own life and mission for others, especially through education and health care. She entered the Congregation in June 1951 after graduating from Dunbarton College, Washington, D.C., with a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics.  After initial profession of vows in February 1954, as Sister M. Joseph Anita, she was missioned to either secondary education or higher education in high schools and colleges sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross in the Eastern Province. Mathematics remained her strong suit, and she earned a Master of Science in in the subject in 1964 from the University of Notre Dame and a doctorate in education in 1981 from the University of Maryland. Her initial goal was to be the best math teacher possible. “Young people need the inspiring example of those who strive for excellence in what they are doing,” she wrote. Beyond her talent for mathematics, positions related to mission, administration and strategic planning came naturally to her. In 1972 she went to Saint Mary’s College, where she gave her full measure of service over several years. The 2004 Resolution of Gratitude from the Saint Mary’s College board of trustees testified to Sister Anna Mae’s quiet unassuming presence and deep faith and loyalty to the college.  She served Saint Mary’s College as a member of the board of trustees from 1994 to 2004 and the Board of Regents from 1976-82; and 1988-94. During those years, she chaired committees to develop the pastoral vision of the college, from which the Center for Spirituality was founded in 1987. Sister Anna Mae was also the director of admission, the admission counselor for the Rome program, coordinator of institutional planning and a lecturer in mathematics. She devoted countless hours to ensure that the young women received a quality education during their four years at Saint Mary’s College by chairing the Education Committee. Elected in 1999 to the General Council of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Sister Anna Mae ministered until 2004 at the international headquarters at Saint Mary’s. It is said that, while on the General Council, she made time to tutor some of the young sisters who had difficulty in their college math classes. Her last active ministry was as a patient visitor from 2005-07 at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, South Bend, before transitioning into retirement due to failing health (Sister Catherine Osimo, CSC).

Servant of God Bishop Vincent McCauley, C.S.C. (1906-1982)

unnamed (7).jpg“The oldest of six children, Bishop Vincent McCauley, C.S.C. was born on March 8, 1906, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. His parish school, St. Francis Xavier, first awakened in him a desire for missionary work and evangelization. Inspired by Holy Cross priests who preached a mission at his parish in the fall of 1924, McCauley left Creighton University and entered the seminary at the University of Notre Dame.  McCauley professed final vows in Holy Cross on July 2, 1929. As he was interested in the missions, he was sent to the Foreign Missionary Seminary in Washington, D.C., and was ordained a priest on June 24, 1934. His departure to the missions in East Bengal in India (a territory that today encompasses Bangladesh and part of India) was delayed two years until October 1936 because of a lack of funds due to the Great Depression.  McCauley’s work among the neglected Kuki Christians (a distinct minority in the overwhelmingly Muslim country) in Agartala confirmed his calling as a missionary. Unfortunately, illness forced him back to the United States in May 1944. He spent nearly a year in recovery before joining the formation staff at the Foreign Mission Seminary in Washington. The unnamed (6)next 13 years of his life would be devoted to seminarian formation and mission procuration, a role in which McCauley made famous the mission appeal slogan – “Wanted to build a better world: Few architects, more bricklayers.”  In 1958, McCauley was sent to lead the Congregation’s new mission to Uganda. As had been the case in East Bengal, the Congregation’s work in western Uganda focused on building up the local Church through the establishment, renovation, and strengthening of parish churches and schools. When Rome split western Uganda into two dioceses, McCauley was appointed bishop of newly created Diocese of Fort Portal. As Bishop, McCauley built the diocese from the ground up, founding numerous parishes and diocesan structures, along with St. Mary’s Minor Seminary for local priestly formation. Remembered for his compassion and leadership, Bishop McCauley guided the Church in aiding countless refugees, widows, orphans, and migrants in the region during the political turmoil of 1960s and 70s. He also took leading roles in the creation and administration of East Africa’s episcopal associations. His leadership in the establishment of both an East African seminary and the Catholic University of Eastern Africa remains one of his distinctly Holy Cross legacies to a region in which global Catholicism finds one of its modern centers-of-gravity. Bishop McCauley’s commitment to the enculturation of the Gospel can be heard in his advice to fellow Holy Cross priests in mission. ‘We no longer use the term ‘adaptation.’ The suspicion is that ‘adaptation’ implies putting African clothes on European and foreign interpretations of Christ’s message. To the African Church the message of Christ is universal and, therefore, should be presented to the Africans as God’s message to Africans. It must be something that can be understood and put into practice in Africa … The Gospel, the Church, must be incarnated in the African culture in which we live.’ In August 2006, the cause for canonization of McCauley was introduced in the Congregation for the Causes of Saints” (

May 11, 2019

In the Voice of Moreau:  There is an implicit tension in the life of any disciple of Jesus.  Our Lord says both: “Follow me” (Mt 16:24) and “Remain with me” (Jn 15:4).  It is easy to run around following our own impulses. It is easy to remain in the safe haven of our comfort zones.  The true key to discipleship, however, is to be both an active and a contemplative at one and the same time. The Cross is the common denominator which links these two spiritual postures.  In order to go somewhere, we must stay somewhere; that is, the only way for the crucified Christ to be oriented to the infinite horizon is for him to be firmly and absolutely grounded in the here and now.  Like a mighty tree that soars up to the heavens, with all of the splendor of its foliage and the dizzying heights of its branches, we too must learn to grow deep roots and anchor our souls in the rich soil of the present moment.  Let us, therefore, have the humility to surrender to this paradox of life.  Let us remain with our Lord by constantly following him to the Cross.  Ave Crux, Spes Unica!

Holy Cross Educator’s Response: Brother Joseph Schmidt, F. S. C. wrote a book called Praying Our Experiences Its thesis is simple: the only place where we meet God is in our own experiences.  It is the practice of reflecting on and entering honestly into the day-to-day events of our lives to become aware of God’s word in them and to offer ourselves to God through these events. Every moment of one’s day can be prayer – grace – if we have the correct mindset. I place all the moments of the day as adoration and an oblation to Christ crucified. Thomas á Kempis suggests that “true comfort is to be sought in God alone,” and that “the devout [person] carries [the] Consoler, Jesus, everywhere.” Blessed Moreau would agree and encouraged his Holy Cross educators to assist students to completeness in Christ crucified by teaching them daily routines that ground them in the faith. Frequently, remind and recall for your students that they can sanctify each moment of the day if they desire to do so. All activity grounded in love of neighbor is an act of contemplation. Use the lives of holy persons as examples of active contemplation: St. André Bessette, CSC, Blessed Mother Leonie Paradis, MSC, Brother Columba O’Neill, CSC, Servant of God Brother Flavian La Plante, CSC, Father Thomas Barrosse, CSC and Mother Augusta Anderson, CSC. Each of these men and women of Holy Cross are mighty trees whose roots are embedded in Ave Crux Spes Unica!

Mother Mary Ascension (Mathurin) Salou, C.S.C. (1826-1901)

image1 (1).jpgConsidered upon her death as one of the last Holy Cross pioneers at the University of Notre Dame, Mother Ascension was buried with what might be considered full military honors. Ordinarily, the sisters were buried from their own chapel, but an exception was made for Mother Ascension. She was one of the original band of women who came from France as colaborers with Father Sorin for the founding and building of Notre Dame du Lac. It was for this reason that the faculty and students of the University attended the funeral as a unified presence. “The Reverend President Morrissey was celebrant, assisted by Father [Stanislaus] Fitte. After the celebration of Solemn High Mass of Requiem, the body was blessed by Father L. [Louis] J. [Job] L’Etourneau. The body was taken to the gave by the students, professors, clergy and Sisters in funeral procession” (“The Last of the Pioneers. Scholastic. May 1, 1901). Born in 1826 in France, Mathurin Salou entered the Sisters of Holy Cross in 1845. In 1848 she came to the States and joined Father Sorin. As early as 1853 she was appointed superior of Saint Mary’s Academy and Mistress of Novices in 1854. In 1856 and again in 1860-62 she was Directress of Immaculate Conception Academy in Philadelphia. From 1865 through 1894 she was either Superior or Superior and Mistress of Novices at Saint Mary’s. She retired in 1894 and died in 1901. She was known as the Mother of the missions in Bengal because of her many works of charity. Almost unaided she trained Sisters for hospital work, and when not doing so she taught at St. Mary’s. In a 1901 article in the South Bend Tribune she was described as “always bright and cheerful and even to the day of her death she found pleasure in discussing the works of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.” During the sermon at her funeral, delivered by Father Hudson, he paid the following tribute to the Sisters of the Holy Cross. “You are present this morning not only to show a mark of respect to the Sisters of the Holy Cross, especially to one who trained so many of them to the religious life, but to pay a tribute of gratitude to the truest benefactors of Notre Dame. It is enough to say in explanation that the work of Father Sorin would have been impossible of accomplishment without the cooperation of the little band of religious women whom he summoned to his aid” (Scholastic. 1901).

Father Peter P. Cooney, C.S.C. (1822-1905)

cooney 1Father Peter Paul Cooney, C.S.C. (1822-1905), was one of the most tireless, brave, and successful Catholic chaplains on either side of the Civil War. Born in County Roscommon Ireland in 1822, he emigrated to the United States at a young age and was ordained a Holy Cross priest in 1859. Enlisting in the Union army at the behest of Indiana’s Governor Oliver Morton in October 1861, he served with the 35th Indiana Infantry Regiment (1st Indiana Irish) until victory was secured by the summer of 1865. Repeatedly praised by his commanders, Cooney stayed up late hearing confessions, ministered to the sick in the hospital, and did not shirk from the dangers of the battlefield if a dying man needed last rites. Typical of the praise he received during the war, Colonel Bernard F. Mullen, conspicuously commended Cooney’s conduct at the Battle of Stones Rivers:  “To Father Cooney, our chaplain, too much praise cannot be given. Indifferent as to himself, he was deeply solicitous for the temporal comfort and spiritual welfare of us all. On the field he was cool and indifferent to danger, and in the name of the regiment I thank him for his kindness and laborious attention to the dead and dying.”  The day before he mustered out of the army on June 16, 1865, Cooney’s regiment gave him a farewell gift of one-thousand dollars to buy a new set of vestments and a chalice. Rather than use the gift cooney 2right away, Cooney waited until the fortieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood to have a very special chalice constructed depicting scenes from his wartime chaplaincy and of Catholic sisters tending to wounded men in military hospitals. As Father Cooney explained to a friend in February of that year, “The chalice and its ornaments will be a synopsis of the ministrations or services of the Catholic Church in the army, during the war of the Rebellion.”  Eventually, suffering from a prolonged illness and acute deafness, Cooney died on May 7, 1905. His fellow priests bore his coffin “enveloped in the national ensign” to its final resting place nearby Fathers Edward Sorin and William Corby. At the end of the ceremony, Brother Leander, then president of Notre Dame’s GAR post, threw an American flag over the coffin saying, “On behalf of the Grand Republic for whose integrity and unity our late comrade, Rev. P. P. Cooney, offered his services during the War of the Rebellion, I deposit this flag” (Kurtz, William. American Studies, Catholic Humanities and the Digital Humanities. September 29, 2017).

Brother Albeus (John) Lawler, C.S.C. (1857-1913)

brother albeus“Brother Albeus was born in Dunlavin, Ireland, in 1857. At an early age he came to this country and in 1883 he joined the Congregation of Holy Cross. After his profession in 1886 he was for many years, prefect in Carroll Hall and teacher in the preparatory department of the University. He was made treasurer of the University in 1901, in which office he remained until his death. In addition he was for many years Provincial Counselor of the United States Province and a member of the General Chapter of the Congregation. In business ability, Brother Albeus was well qualified for the burdensome office with which he was entrusted for so long a time. He is fondly remembered by the students of many school years for his unselfish devotion to their interests during their days at Notre Dame. Among members of his community, he was always esteemed for his fine spirit of charity, his quiet but tense devotion to duty, and by the exemplary quality of his religious life. The deceased has been troubled for some years by a weak heart, and hence, while his death was sudden, it was not unexpected. He had been dangerously ill during the first week of June, but soon recovered sufficiently to return to his post of duty, where he died a few days later” (Scholastic, 1913).


May 4, 2019

In the Voice of Moreau:  The Cross is medicine for our wounded souls.  While it burns and stings when first applied, we know that it purges the toxins lest other parts of our souls become infected.  Gradually, we do experience relief and our health is restored. This is true medicine that we have access to at all times. It is not received through the senses per se, but in an act of trust in the Good Samaritan to whom we cry out from our destitute posture, laying on the side of the road.  He is the only one who will respond to our needs. We must simply have the courage and the humility to call his name. When he comes to us, we do nothing but allow ourselves to become receptive to his Cross, the wine and oil of salvation (Lk 10:25-37). Our scars, like his, remind us of the power of sin and teach us to “walk in the way of perfection” (Ps 101:6) so that our hearts might not be so easily allured to the dangers that lurk off the beaten path.  May we never neglect to take our medicine. May we never be ashamed of the Cross. Ave Crux, Spes Unica!

Holy Cross Educator’s Response:  Thomas á Kempis writes: “God knows when and how to deliver you; therefore, place yourselves in His hands, for it is a divine prerogative to help men, and free them from all distress” (The Imitation of Christ).  Blessed Basil Moreau took every opportunity to remind his educators that their particular goal was “the sanctification of youth”.  This work of resurrection for our students requires that we present to them daily, indeed multiple opportunities during each day, to heal their spirits.  These doses of heavenly medicine come whenever we connect the information of the class to the promptings of the heart: to make all things whole in Christ crucified by forming our student into Christians “conformed to Jesus Christ.”  Conscientiously design all courses and classes with at least one dose of the medicine of the Cross. Connect all information with the need to heal a broken world. Ave Crux Spes Unica!

Sr. Mary Madeleva Wolff C.S.C. (1887-1964)

SisterMadeleva7“Holy Cross Sister Mary Madeleva Wolff (1887-1964), President of Saint Mary’s College (1934-1961) and “the lady abbess of nun poets”, established the first graduate theology school for women.  Until the founding of the School of Sacred Theology at Saint Mary’s women had been excluded from the theological profession. For more than a decade Saint Mary’s College School of Sacred Theology was the only place in the world where a layperson, male or female, religious or lay, could earn an advanced degree in Catholic theology. Her impact on the course of religion in U.S. history is not unrecognized though her important contribution is not widely celebrated outside Saint Mary’s College. Wolff had a knack for imagination. In 1941, without consultation, but acting on a moral impulse, she moved to admit to Saint Mary’s its first African American student. Some alumnae were enraged yet Wolff wrote in a reflection, “They told me that as a northerner I did not know what I was doing.” She simply ignored her critics. (Hilton, Saint Mary’s College archives, 1959) Sister Madeleva was also a noted poet and published 70 books. In 1964, one of her last public appearances prior to her death was delivering the Eighth Commencement address at Archbishop Hoban High School.

Venerable Fr. Patrick Peyton C.S.C. (1909-1992)

peyton_with_beads.jpgVenerable Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C. coined the saying, “the family that prays together stays together;” and fostered prayer by millions of people through radio, television, films and worldwide preaching crusades. He became known as the Rosary Priest for his lifelong mission of encouraging Catholic families to pray at home daily and particularly to recite the rosary.  Preaching his simple message, he often drew tens of thousands of people to his rallies–sometimes hundreds of thousands. His radio broadcasts, which included religious dramas featuring top Hollywood stars, reached audiences in the tens of millions. His mission, he said, fulfilled a vow he made to the Virgin Mary when he was a seminarian ailing with tuberculosis: if he recovered, he would spread the practice of saying the rosary. He was born in Ireland and came to the United States at the age of 19. He first sought work as a coal miner in Scranton, Pennsylvania, but was not strong enough for the job. He became a church sexton, and then studied at Holy Cross Seminary at the University of Notre Dame and was ordained in 1941. In June of 2001 the formal Cause of Canonization was introduced at the Holy See by Cardinal Sean O’Malley and Fr. Peyton was declared Servant of God. On December 18, 2017, Pope Francis approved the Decree of the Heroic Virtue of Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., thus bestowing on him the title of Venerable.

Brother Marcellinus (Thomas) Kinsella, C.S.C. (1847-1914)

Brother Marcellinus“Brother Marcellinus, one of the ablest and best known teaching Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross, died Wednesday morning at Notre Dame. To scores of Fort Wayne friends and particularly the students of Central Catholic High School, the announcement of his demise will be received with profound regret” (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, by Helen May Irwin July 30, 1914).  “Upon the invitation of Frank McErlain, Brother Marcellinus spent Thursday hunting 8 miles north. The report that no game is left in the state is without foundation, as is also the one that 13 pheasants and 9 rabbits committed suicide upon hearing that Brother Marcellinus was on the grounds. They were the lawful bag of a good day’s sport, as were several squirrels, a young fox and 2 blue-jays” (Scholastic December 20, 1886).    “Brother Marcellinus, who for years was head of the Commercial Department at Notre Dame, and who is now director of St. Columbkille’s School, Chicago, celebrated on last Monday, (19th) the Silver Jubilee of his entrance into the Congregation of Holy Cross. At St. Columbkille’s,  Chicago, he left behind him, not only golden memories, but a superb company of young men, many of them priests, to cherish his name. For 25 years he has been identified with the cause of education, and few instructors have met with greater success…” (Scholastic March 24, 1894).  “Old students of the University will be interested in knowing that Brother Marcellinus, a veteran and much-admired professor of the University in the ‘good old days’ has been recently appointed principal of the new high school recently founded in Fort Wayne, and placed in charge of the Brothers of Holy Cross. There are few teachers who were better remembered than Brother Marcellinus” (Scholastic, 43:30).  “Shortly prior to the 70th anniversary commencement at the University of Notre Dame this year, Brother Marcellinus was stricken with apoplexy of the brain and since that time his condition had been critical. For the past week his death had been hourly expected; the final summons came on Wednesday when he passed away at the Community House, where he had been making his home for a year….Owing to his long service as a teacher, over forty years, Brother Marcellinus remained at Notre Dame and during the past year since his retirement from Fort Wayne taught classes in the Commercial Department. His duties were not heavy and he appeared in his usual health until stricken in June. The beloved teacher was about 67 years of age and throughout his long career in the classroom was eminently successful in his activities. He taught at practically all the higher educational institutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross and was a religious of keen intellectual capacity and administrative ability. A number of Chicago’s leading business and professional men were students of Brother Marcellinus and so popular was he with the Chicago Notre Dame Alumni that no reunion was deemed complete unless he was in attendance. His death is a distinct loss to the great Community of which he was a devoted and exemplary member. He was a member of the General Chapter of the Holy Cross Order and participated in all the deliberations of that body for many years” (Irwin, 1914).  Gifted with an unusual talent, he had a distinguished career, both as teacher and director of schools.